I’ve Been Afraid of Changing

by Susan Pogorzelski on April 23, 2009 · 9 comments

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
Cause I’ve built my life around you.
But time makes you bolder,
Children get older,
And I’m getting older too…

Fleetwood Mac, “Landslide”

give me that far horizon by oneeighteen (flickr)

I’m facing nostalgia tonight, confronted with thoughts and memories and emotions that I know are better left unspoken, in the past. A planned weekend trip up to my alma matter, a phone call from my grandmother, an acquaintance’s tweet about a familiar place, reminding me of summer friendships, relationships, blossoming in a grove…Simple words and phrases and pictures and places are calling me back to another time, an easier time, and all I can think is…

I’m not ready for this.

I’m not ready to miss things again, to long for something that I can no longer have. I’m ready to move on, move forward, experience something new and exciting and see where my life will take me.

And yet these conflicting emotions are holding me back, stuck between now and then and there, beyond.

I miss things. I miss things that are gone from my life either by force or by choice but never by my want.

I miss the woman my grandmother used to be, before my grandpa died. Strong-willed, a fighter, that world traveler, that independent spirit that I always so admired, that I would be proud to emulate.

I miss easy talks hanging out on the back patio with someone I used to call my best friend. I don’t miss the person — I don’t know him anymore — but I miss the comfort, the ease, the connection that hung between us.

I miss my dogs…My dogs that passed away a few short years ago, so quickly, too soon, and I remember how I wasn’t ready then.

But as I write this I hear Riley howl in happiness downstairs, and I realize now I have him, I love him. And I realize that maybe I’m a lucky one after all. Because maybe these changes bring more good things in your life. Someone leaves and another enters and you have another chance to love new, love more. Love again.

The pain I felt when my dogs died, when my grandparents died, was unlike anything I had ever known. And I realize that maybe that’s why I’ve always been so resistant to change, why I’ve always feared it…Why I’ve always fought so hard to hold onto what I have, never quite willing to let go.

Because I wasn’t ever ready for it.

In life, maybe you never really are.

These things, these people, these memories and experiences are such a huge part of me. So I try to hold onto them, sometimes desperately, because I want them to be a part of my life, because by being a part of my life, they are, in some small way, a part of me.

I’m always going to miss things. That’s part of living and loving and feeling sometimes too deeply. But I would rather feel deeply for something than not at all.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for the changes that are taking place around me every day. I don’t know if I’ll ever not miss what once was.

But I do know that I have a different horizon to look towards now. I do know that there are more people to meet, more experiences to share, more memories to make.

And I’m ready for that.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Grace Boyle April 24, 2009

Susan, I feel you. Change is so damn hard. Although all those experiences are uniquely your own, I am feeling similar things. I don’t know if it’s spring–>heading into summer with different seasons but I also am nostalgic. I still have a few friends in college and I miss those times as well.

I think it’s important to be present with what’s happening around us while also appreciating the past and not having to shove it away. Appreciate them for what they were, if you will. I know it’s all easier said than done, but that usually helps me.

Thanks for being honest and sharing!


Kristina April 27, 2009

Change is hard as is moving on and leaving things behind us. I know it oooooh so well. But, what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. This too shall pass.


Susan Pogorzelski - admin April 30, 2009

Grace: Thanks so much for taking the time to comment; I really appreciate your words. I’ve never been ready for the changes in my life, even as I anticipate them. Although, once it happens, I learn very quickly to adapt and continue on, it’s always been hard because I tend to miss things, miss what once was. And that is possibly the hardest part in all of it.

But you’re so right…Learning to be present and appreciate what we have now can possibly make the changes easier as they arrive. I know it’s about accepting that the past is the past and moving on, and that’s something that I know I need to work on.

Thanks again for your comment and insight!


Susan Pogorzelski - admin April 30, 2009

Kristina: Thanks for your comment! As I replied to Grace, I think the idea of moving on and leaving things behind was always what was most difficult for me because I never quite felt ready to let go of the good things. I think I’ve begun to realize, though, that more good things can’t come into this life until we do move on from the past. And maybe that means strength, as you mention, as well. Thanks so much for your comment!


Rachael Stott May 10, 2009

Susan Landslide is one of my all-time-favourite songs. If I hear Stevie’s accoustic version I can’t help but cry. Its a song I turn to whenever I forget for a while my strength; it speaks to me of the cyclic nature of our lives and of the transformation inherent in change.

You may or may not see it now but the lows and challenges you are facing (with a quiet grace) lay the foundations of the highs and triumphs of tomorrow, as you emerge a stronger and more refined you. Thank you for your honesty.


Susan Pogorzelski - admin May 10, 2009

Rachael: I love the song, too, love the lyrics! And the transformation and idea of change is exactly what called to me with this post. I think I’ve always been so resistant to change because I fear the unknown that comes with it. But I’m learning this lesson over and over and one day I’ll get it right — change happens. Each and every day I think little changes are taking place — as you grow, as you get older — and I’m starting to realize that maybe that’s not something I should shy away from.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your words, Rachael, especially when you say that the challenges that we face “lay the foundations of the highs and triumphs of tomorrow.” So beautifully said and exactly the reminder that I need as I move foward.

Wishing you well.


Sharon January 17, 2013

I’m not “Twenty Something” [by a long shot (!)], but the above lyrics really “get” to me. I’m in the process of getting a divorce, and I can’t say it’s “heart-breaking” when it’s really been “too long in coming.” A change really did need to take place–for my physical and mental health. Still, I was married to the same man for 36 years and “I’ve built my life around him.” Time makes us bolder (like making the decision to get a divorce); children definitely get older; and I’m getting older, too. To change Stevie Nicks’s words a little: “Take this marriage, take it down” — it’s bittersweet.


Susan Pogorzelski January 21, 2013

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for your comment! I’m sorry to hear about your personal situation, but I’m so glad that my own experiences could resonate with you. It’s so hard to change — to change situations, circumstances, and especially yourself. Even now, four years after writing this post, I still tend to cling to the familiar and fight that change tooth and nail.

But it happens, liking it or not. And what I’m just beginning to learn is that sometimes things change and fall apart to make room for that something new, something better. It sounds like you have a healthy attitude about it, too.

I’ll be wishing you strength and wellness…


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